The deadline for turning in all the gifts for the Adopt-A-Family Christmas project at DH’s workplace was changed from December 17th to the 14th, so last Thursday officially became “Cape Day”!
I used this cape template from Jeanine and Amy’s blog, ‘Serving Pink Lemonade’, and followed the tutorial for a no-sew fleece cape from Kyra’s blog, ‘Racks and Mooby’, to make a Batman cape for Dylan.
Since he is older than any of the blog writers’ children I decided to make a cape as long possible from my .883 yard (30″) fleece remnant. I also wanted the sides of his cape to flair out toward the bottom instead of going straight up and down, so I measured a 30″ wide piece, instead of the recommended 20″. After folding my fleece vertically, I laid the template at the top with its flat side on the fold.
Then I laid a yardstick on an angle going from the outside bottom corner of the fleece up to the shoulder curve of the template.
I put in several straight pins so their tips touched the right-hand edge of the yardstick
and then cut through both layers of fleece, just to the left of the pins’ tips.
Batman’s cape has a scalloped hem. I cut mine free-hand,
but you could make a pattern by accordion-folding a 30″ long strip of paper every 5 inches, draw a scallop going from fold to fold, cut on the scallop line through all six layers, and then unfold the strip. Ta-dah – a Batman cape hem pattern!
For a No-Sew closure, Kyra used a set of 1″x 1″ self-stick Velcro pieces, but I wanted an adjustable neckline, so I hand-sewed a 1″ piece on the back of one neck tab and a piece about 2 1/2″ long on the front of the other.
I used Snag-Free Velcro (available at JoAnns). It doesn’t adhere to itself quite as firmly as the old-fashioned kind of Velcro, but I looove that it won’t damage the nap of the fleece or so easily get filled with lint and fuzz.
Almost done – I just needed to add the Batman insignia. I could have cut this simple one out of the scrap of yellow fleece I had dug out of storage for this project, but I preferred this more intricate bat design that I found at the ‘Get Your Craft On!’ blog,
so I switched to yellow felt, a stiffer more stable fabric. I cut away the bat shape inside with sharp! embroidery scissors.
Again Kyra, of ‘Racks and Mooby’, found a No-Sew way. She used permanent fabric glue to attach her felt insignia, but I didn’t have any and wasn’t about to make yet another trip to JoAnns, so I just hand-appliqued mine with embroidery floss. If I was better acquainted with sewing stretchy fleece I might have tried doing it by machine.
Doing it by hand didn’t take as long as you might think, a little more than half-an-hour is all. I didn’t mind since the rest of the cape was so Fast and Easy!
I finished Dylan’s Batman cape by about 1:30. YAY!
It’s so Cute! The guy modelling it isn’t bad either. lol.
With the rest of the afternoon left, I thought it would alot of fun for Dylan to have two superhero capes, so could share one with a playmate! Thanks to my fabric stash I had both bright blue fleece and red felt remnants handy and quickly repeated the measuring, pinning, cutting and Velcro steps for a Spiderman cape.
Georgia Leigh shares applique patterns for many superhero insignia on her blog, including a beautiful, if intimidating, Spiderman one, here.
Traditionally the Spiderman spider is black against a red circle. My Pyrex bowl was just the right size to use as a circle pattern for Spidey.
It dawned on me that I could cut the intricate spider design out of felt with a utility knife! This was so fast and easy compared to trying to do it with embroidery scissors!
I cut a slightly smaller circle out of thin black fabric that I salvaged from a used shirt a long time ago. – I might have a box, or two, of salvaged shirt fabrics in the attic, saved for quilt making someday.
My stunning spider, ready to be appliqued!
I didn’t time myself this time. lol. Why ruin my fun?! Besides, appliqueing this Spidey patch and packaging the capes was all that was left to finishing this special Christmas project.
By the time DH got home I only had the outer edge of the red circle left to sew down. After dinner we took fashion photos. I don’t have a seven-year-old to model my superhero capes, but sometimes I think my guy is seven-years-old at heart. lol.
Next we played around with ways to package the capes. I wanted it to be obvious to Dylan what these capes were and for them not to look too ‘Homemade’, if you know what I mean. I ended up folding the capes to fit into gallon-sized ziplock bags with their appliques centered on the front.
DH’s so good at working with digital imaging software! He found both Batman and Spiderman comic book titles on-line and sized them to fit the top of the ziplock bags.
He also made ‘Superhero Cape’ cards for me to slip in front of the folded capes.
Ta-Dah! Two beautifully packaged Superhero Capes!!
P.S. We’ve received news from someone who knows Dylan’s family. They said his mother was overwhelmed when she came to pick up the carload of gifts! She just lost her job and had only enough money to get candy for the stockings. Although she knew about the Christmas drive, she never really thought that someone would “adopt” her big family with five children and had resigned herself to the idea that it was going to be a bleak Christmas for her kids.
Together we did a very good thing.